Jean Cocteau, Paris Album, 1900-1914
Cocteau, Jean. Paris Album, 1900-1914. First English Edition. Book and dust jacket are both in very good condition—previous owner's name is written on the flyleaf and jacket shows mild discoloration, minor repaired tears to the spine, and light fraying.
This book is uncommon in the United States, because there was not an American edition until 1990 (under the title Souvenir Portraits). The 1956 English edition is more lovely, with an exceptional Cocteau-illustrated dust jacket and finer quality interior pages. Originally published in Le Figaro, it is a collection of illustrations interspersed with Cocteau’s reminisces on his childhood in Belle Époque Paris. His prose is as good as his sketches that accompany it. Isadora Duncan, Sarah Bernhardt, and Anna de Noailles share the pages with Cocteau’s parents, the circus, and adolescent school days.
“Fashion dies young, and this air of being condemned endows it with nobility.”